I have encountered Nick Cave and Co a range of live contexts: from standing up, sweaty, indoor grunginess at a town hall in Collingwood, to a sophisticated sitting down grand theatre, and stadium festival action with a thunder and lightning background.
Each time it has been a thoroughly fulfilling experience, with Cave in total command of the crowd and his mob of musicians. He’s a captivating performer with the slint hint of danger, but with little risk of disappointment.
Much of the Cave songbook works extremely well live. The contrasts between light and dark are accentuated in such an environment. The energy and effort in producing the bashing rhythms and twisted melodies are a joy to witness.
This CD does a solid job of capturing that experience. The setlist is a ripper. It opens with the best opener of all – the slow build of Mercy Seat(although it is a rather restrained and shorter version than I can remember witnessing). The tempos of Deanna and Ship Song seem slightly quickened versus their studio versions.
The breathy, spitting, prowling Cave seems ready to jump from the speakers and into the loungeroom. That’s the best one can hope for on a live release.
File under: It’s great to be alive